ssnchgIt happens to many of us… seasonal depression, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

These depressive periods tend to hit between Fall and Winter seasons (between October and March) when temperatures are colder and we’re forced into longer days of darkness.

Unfortunately, I am one of the unlucky ones that experience the undesirable symptoms.

I’m not sure if it’s connected but I suffered depression as a preteen up until my early 20’s due to abuse I experienced between the ages of 12 and 13. It was a life changing experience and I still deal with the hurt this very day.

Cold temperatures, the lack of greenery and flowers, and the lack of sunlight really do a number on my mood. I battle the blahs daily but there ARE things that sufferers like me can do to make it more tolerable.

Before starting any self healing, be sure and talk with your doctor to make sure they are in agreement with your choices.

Here are a few remedies to get you started:

Phototherapy or light therapy – this involves the use of a device that simulates dawn, gradually lighting your room like a sunrise. These range from battery-operated to electrical simulators.

Maximizing your Daylight Hours – Keeping shrubbery and trees trimmed around your home will help let the sun shine in your windows throughout the day. Make sure you open your window treatments as well so nothing blocks your view.

Participate in Activities that involve positive people – Some people have a nature way of shining all on their own. They’re happy and full of life and it can rub off, elevating your mood. Find activities that you love and do them regularly. Volunteering is one way to increase your mood. Helping others is a win-win situation!

Get Outdoors whenever possible – take walks on sunny days because even an hours worth of walking in the winter sunlight can be effective in reducing symptoms.

Exercise – Sure it’s hard to get motivated but there are several benefits to exercise aside from weight loss including your body’s ability to release endorphin’s— natural pain and stress relievers. And it gives you more energy. You’re more apt to feel good about yourself as well.

Choose Bright & Cheery Paint & Decor – Painting your walls and trim with bright, sunny colors is a surefire way of perking yourself up.

Herbal Remedies – St. John’s Wort is said to be a natural mild antidepressant, increasing the mood boosting brain chemical serotonin. Just be careful because it can also increase skin sensitivity. Always wear sunscreen!

Psychotherapy – Your doctor may want to prescribe a few rounds of psychotherapy if other means do not work. Talking with a counselor can be very therapeutic, not to mention a beneficial way of identifying and changing negative thoughts and behaviors.

Medications – As a last resort, especially if your symptoms are severe, there are plenty of antidepressant treatments by way of prescription medications. The downside to these is that there are always side effects with drugs and they can take weeks before you notice full benefits (if there are any).

NOT SURE IF YOU HAVE SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER?

No one really looks forward to dark, gloomy days and dreary nights. But for some people the transition from Summer to Fall and/or Winter triggers feelings that are harder to cope with. Want to know if your gloomy attitude is being caused by seasonal depression.

Take a look at the symptom below:

  • Hopelessness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Lack of energy
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite
  • Weight gain
  • Oversleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s probably a good idea that you consult your doctor and work out a plan to help ease your symptoms so you can get back to enjoying life.

IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU COPE WITH SHORTER, DARKER DAYS?

© 2014, Dee @ Bella Savvy. All rights reserved.

Dee

48 Responses to Remedies for Seasonal Depression (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

  • Tamara says:

    One thing that i have found that helps mine is to workout. Getting the blood pumping does something that helps have a more positive outlook on things.

  • LaVonne says:

    Dee, these are such great tips. Thank you for sharing them. I know many many people suffer from this.

  • lisa says:

    I actually like the shorter days. Probably because even though the spring time is beautiful, I have bad allergies.

  • Sandy Cain says:

    All great tips – I am depressed in general all year long! But it’s worse in the winter, being stuck indoors with less daylight. Your tip about surrounding yourself with positive people is the best! It does rub off on you!

  • Jennifer Hiles says:

    These are some very helpful tips. I definitely have some problems with SAD. I bought a Verilux light for my office, I think it helps. I live in a log cabin so it’s sooo dark at home. It’s very small too so I really do get “cabin fever”! Exercise is so important and that is what I’m not doing enough of!

  • Dee @ Bella Savvy says:

    Oh wow, I sure can sympathize with you — when we lived in our very first home it had some wood paneling in the living room and a few other rooms and boy was it dark and depressing. I like colored walls but the wood just made it SO drab. I’ll stick with paint colors!

  • Kirsten K says:

    I have a friend who uses the light therapy. I have thought for so long that being depressed in the winter was normal and never thought about it being SAD. I have a lot to think about and there seems to be hope.

  • Rosanne says:

    I have this as well as depression. Forcing myself to get up during the day no matter how horrible I feel and taking melatonin as well as meditating twice a day working out and eating the right foods help.

  • Shelton Rogerson says:

    I work on projects in my shop just to get out of the house. It keeps me from going stir-crazy. SAD-what an appropriate anagram.

  • Richard Hicks says:

    A lot of people are affected with SAD. Great tips for them and anyone other times of year too!

  • lisa says:

    Good tips. Luckily, I haven’t suffered from depression. Well, nothing that I couldn’t deal with.

  • Buddy Garrett says:

    These are some great tips. It is not depression but I feel sad around Christmas because I lost my father one Christmas.

  • lisa says:

    Any type of depression is rough. I agree, you should talk to the doctor about it. There could be an underlying illness.

  • Aretta H says:

    I know plenty of people who suffer from this condition. Thank you for sharing such great tips.

  • Dorothy Teel says:

    We informative article on a definite problem for many in the world. I have had my time with SAD and I learned about St Johns Wort which is helpful, but getting plenty of rest and let the sun shine in open curtains, open windows when weather allows. Thank your for sharing this information

  • Kristen says:

    Lots of interesting advice….I have a friend who is impacted by SAD and some of these might help.

  • Jane Stanford Booer says:

    WALKING ALONE

  • Jennifer Hiles says:

    I really like the paint idea. I heard that painting your walls yellow makes you happy?

  • Charlene says:

    These tips were very helpful to me. Thank you for posting them :)

  • pamela love says:

    Thanks for the great tips. This has been an exceptionally long winter.

  • polly says:

    I still take daily walks no matter what the weather is outside. Just something about getting out of the house!

  • Sherri Lewis says:

    I don’t think I have this, although it is hard to say since I suffer from depression year-round. My Grandma definitely has it, and I try to keep her supplied with lots of new books to read….she says it helps the days go by quicker :)

  • lisa says:

    I thought that I was immune to this. With this snowy, cold weather I’m changing my mind. I started spring cleaning today and it did lift my spirits some.

  • Rita Spratlen says:

    I grew up in one of the rainiest towns ever on the Oregon Coast. I love the storms and wind and just do things inside to keep me occupied. Vitamin D is so important too. There is a lot of people who don’t have enough and I was one of them. I am taking this.

  • Toni Marie Caravello Feimer says:

    Oh I get this every year. I used to combat it with Yoga and Skiing. The mountains, sunlight and movement really work wonders, but as I get older I don’t ski anymore and I have a child and really don’t go out much in the winter. I suppose, a trip to the ski mountain is in order. Get her some lessons. She will love it. Thanks for the other tips.

  • Karen says:

    I don’t think I am coping…just waiting for Spring and Summer so I can snap out of this. Your post was helpful.

  • Mer says:

    Long dark winters can be hard. I find my houseplant helps to cheer me up, as does planning my garden.

  • deb healing says:

    I try to practice these all year long

  • Christina A. says:

    These are good tips! I really try to get outside to get myself going when I’m feeling the “blues!” I SO look forward to spring and summer each year as I just feel overall happier during that time of year!

  • Sarah Oswald says:

    This info is so informative and I never thought of myself getting somewhat depressed until this year. this winter has kept me hibernating when ever I can because of the cold and snow and ice and bad weather. I will be so much happier when this winter is over and I can enjoy going outside.

  • gail ward says:

    I don’t personally have this problem
    but I do have some friends that do
    and this is some good info to pass their way.

  • Patty wright says:

    Good tips.

  • lisa says:

    With so much cold weather for so long, it is easy to feel down.

  • j gentry says:

    I lived in Minnesota for over 40 years and I can tell you this is very real. I moved to Georgia and still feel the effects from Dec. through Feb. especially. Exercise is a big help to me! Thanks for the tips!

  • christine jessamine says:

    It is hard for me in the winter time to go do anything. I agree that Staying active is important.

  • Sandra VanHoey says:

    I remember living in Michigan my entire life, I think a good majority of us suffered with depression just from the lack of sun etc. It really does bring you down. I am in Florida now and things are much different than they were back then.

  • Lynda E says:

    Got a pup for the hubby for Chrristmas and I walk her a LOT! It really helps.

  • Marion Gasiorek says:

    Wow, I never heard of “SAD”, but it really makes sense. Thanks for all the tips and the good review. Kudos !

  • Lily Kwan says:

    These remedies for seasonal depression sound very useful. Thanks for sharing!

  • stacey b says:

    I’ve heard of this and luckily haven’t had to experience it. I kind of like the colder months and getting to be cozy inside my house! Maybe I’m just a weirdo!

  • Michael Lambert says:

    I do suffer depression and have for a while. I do notice that it does get worse around the winter time.

  • ellen beck says:

    I try and get outside every single day even if its for a few minutes at a time when its super cold. Great tips and I also think upping vitamin D helps too.

  • Christina Strapp says:

    I do believe being outdoors in the warm sunshine can really help my mood.

  • melisa says:

    I was so relieved years ago to hear about SAD, it explained a lot, and helped me to try and deal with it. I often hear about the phototherapy devices but have never used them, and I haven’t really heard whether they are beneficial or not. Has anyone here ever used one?

  • Dee @ Bella Savvy says:

    I’ve never used it but my hubby’s doctor recommended he get one of the lights to use for therapy during the winter months when we have more dark days than light. It’s said to improve your mood.

  • Christy H says:

    I don’t know that I have SAD but these are great tips even for the days in the winter when things just get monotonous!

  • Beanybopp says:

    I think a lot has to do with lack of Vit D during those months also. I believe that we are all Vit D deficient during those months because of lack of sunlight. We take for granted what the sun does for us as far as our health.

  • polly says:

    I take a walk everyday no matter what the weather is…always feel better afterwards!

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